This keto coconut cake with lemon zest is incredibly moist and delicious, with only 1.8 grams of net carbs per slice.
It's covered in a sweet keto cream cheese frosting and only takes 10 minutes to make.
A delicious sugar-free cake made in one mixing bowl.
If you love toasted coconut, you'll love this low-carb coconut cake recipe. It can even be frozen.
Baking 101 (tips & charts)
Is coconut keto?
Yes, coconut is low in net grams of carbs and high in fiber so is perfect for your low-carb diet or keto diet.
It is versatile because it can be used in sweet and savory recipes, keto cake recipes, keto curry recipes, and keto ice cream recipes to give a rich coconut flavor.
Nutrition of unsweetened shredded coconut per 100g: 7.3 g net carbs, 6.9 g protein, 64.5 g fat, 660 calories.
Nutritional values from cronometer.com
This keto coconut cake is made with the same basic ingredients as any almond flour cake. If you have baking ingredients like baking powder already on-hand then you are ready to make this coconut cake.
See the keto cake recipe card below for quantities, full instructions, and recipe notes.
- Almond flour - Definitely use finely ground flour rather than almond meal so that the cake turns out nice and soft.
- Baking powder - do not get confused with baking soda.
- Coconut flakes - Any kind of unsweetened shredded coconut will work, and toasted coconut will have a richer flavor.
- Granulated Sweetener - the most popular sugar replacements for your sweet tooth are erythritol, monk fruit, stevia, and allulose. Other sugar alcohols such as xylitol are also used often in keto recipes. All have zero or low net carbs and will not impact blood sugar.
- Psyllium Husk
- Butter - Use salted butter, or unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt.
- Eggs - fresh eggs
- Lemons - You will use the juice and zest from two lemons.
Lemon Cream Cheese Yoghurt Icing
To make coconut frosting, see the variations below.
- Cream Cheese - Use full-fat cream cheese and soften it first.
- Unsweetened Yoghurt - Make sure it is unflavored and unsweetened
- Lemon Zest
- Powdered sweetener - powdered erythritol makes for a fine and smooth creamy frosting rather than using granulated sweetener.
This keto coconut cake is a very simple recipe.
Start out by mixing the dry ingredients together - ground almonds, coconut, baking powder, sweetener, and psyllium husk in a mixing bowl.
Then, add the wet ingredients - melted butter into the middle of the dry ingredients and mix them together gently. Add the eggs and keep mixing.
Add the lemon juice and lemon zest.
Line the baking tin with baking parchment paper to ensure it lifts out easily.
Pour the coconut cake batter into the greased and lined ring pan.
Keep baking the gluten-free coconut cake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool the cake pan completely on a cooling rack before you add the creamy buttercream frosting.
Your keto coconut cake can be stored with or without the coconut frosting.
You can store a whole cake or individual slices.
Store leftover cake in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator.
Leftover slices of frosted cake will stay fresh for about 5 days. Remember to keep it covered so that the moist keto coconut cake does not dry out.
Store individual slices of cake in an airtight container or a ziplock bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Remove one slice of cake as you need it, and leave it covered on the kitchen bench at room temperature for 2 hours.
You can serve your keto coconut cake in so many ways.
- Sweetened whipped cream - whip heavy cream and sweetener together until stiff peaks form.
- Lemon yogurt frosting - see the recipe card below.
- Vanilla cream cheese frosting - the versatile keto cream cheese frosting can be made in 7 flavors.
- Sugar-free coconut frosting - add coconut stevia drops or coconut extract to your frosting instead of vanilla extract.
- Toasted coconut - sprinkle over your frosting around the edges for an extra hit of coconut flavor.
- Whipped coconut cream -
There are a few different ingredients that you can use in this keto coconut cake recipe. Always use low-carb ingredients when you bake on the keto diet.
- Butter - Use the same amount of coconut oil or ghee.
- Eggs - Replace one egg with one tablespoon of flax seeds mixed into three tablespoons of water.
- Baking Powder - Use ⅓ teaspoon of baking soda to replace 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
The above substitutions are great alternatives that will keep your low-carb coconut cake gluten-free and keto-friendly.
There are a few different ways you can make this keto coconut cake recipe.
- Less coconut flavor - Leave the toasted coconut flakes out.
- Add more coconut flavor - If you want this sugar-free coconut cake to taste even more like coconut, add some coconut extract. This idea is perfect for coconut lovers.
- Make it dairy-free - Instead of butter, use ghee or melted coconut oil.
- Try vanilla frosting - vanilla extract instead of lemon zest.
- Try coconut frosting - Make your favorite keto buttercream frosting and mix in some toasted coconut flakes.
- Whipped cream frosting - Top the keto cake with whipped cream frosting that you flavor with vanilla extract.
- Skip the frosting altogether - You can skip the frosting completely and just dust the cake with some powdered sweetener.
To make this keto coconut cake, I used a ring tin, or a cake pan with a hollow middle. Some people call this a bundt pan.
To prevent the cake batter from sticking, I suggest lining your cake pan with baking parchment paper.
Since you need to mix the ingredients gently, use a wooden spoon to mix the batter of this delicious cake.
To make the frosting for this keto cake, use a stand mixer or an electric mixer of some kind.
Here are some questions people often ask about how to make keto coconut cake. If you don't see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.
Yes, you can freeze this cake. I prefer to freeze the cake before I add the frosting or glaze because it is easier to wrap in aluminum foil.
This depends on the ingredients you use, but all the recipes on Ditch The Carbs are healthy. They will not cause crazy fluctuations in your blood sugar and are awesome recipes when you are craving something sweet.
Even better, my keto desserts are made with high-protein and healthy-fat ingredients.
I used almond flour instead of coconut flour in this cake. Coconut flour absorbs more liquid when you bake with it, so you will have to adjust how much liquid you use. I do not suggest trying to replace the almond flour with coconut flour. It won't work. (Here's why)
I called this a coconut cake because I used lots of shredded coconut, not because I used coconut flour in the cake batter.
No, you do not need to use coconut milk or canned coconut milk in this sugar-free coconut cake recipe. Since I did not use coconut flour, you don't need as many wet ingredients in the batter.
You can decorate your coconut cake with whipped heavy cream or whipped coconut cream, with sweetener and coconut extract for an extra coconut flavor. Gently spread the whipped frosting on the top and the sides of your coconut cake then sprinkle with coconut flakes.
No, you can only whip coconut cream.
Most sugar alcohols are not absorbed so are not included in the carb count of keto recipes and healthy recipes.
More keto desserts
These keto cakes are all sugar-free and gluten-free. If you want coconut flour recipes, you can search the coconut flour recipe index here.
- Flourless keto chocolate fudge cake
- Vanilla raspberry 1-minute mug cake (coconut flour cake in a mug)
- Berry keto sponge cake (coconut flour cake)
- Sugar-free keto lemon bars (keto lemon cake)
- Keto lemon cupcakes
Please rate this recipe.
Lemon Keto Coconut Cake Recipe (Almond Flour)
Low Carb Lemon Coconut Cake
- 100 g (1 cup) almond meal/flour
- 100 g (1 cup) desiccated/shredded coconut
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoon granulated sweetener of choice or more, to your taste
- 1 teaspoon psyllium husk
- 55 g (½ stick) butter melted
- 3 eggs - medium
- 2 lemon zest and juice
Lemon Cream Cheese and Yoghurt Icing
- 100 g (3.5 oz) cream cheese softened
- 125 ml (½ cup) natural unsweetened yoghurt unsweetened
- 2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon granulated sweetener of choice or more, to your taste
Low Carb Lemon Cake
- Mix ground almonds, coconut, baking powder, sweetener and psyllium husk together.
- Add the melted butter into the centre and mix gently.
- Add the eggs, mix.
- Add the lemon juice and zest. Mix, then pour into a greased and lined ring tin.
- Bake at 180C/350F for 25-30 minutes.
Lemon Cream Cheese and Yogurt Icing
- Mix the softened cream cheese with the natural yogurt.
- Add the sweetener and lemon zest. Mix and carefully ice the cake or serve on the side.
YOUR HOLIDAY PANTRY & GIFT GUIDES
Approximate nutrition information is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. For the most accurate nutritional data, use the actual ingredients and brands you used in your preferred nutrition calculator.
Thank you so much. Finally found a low carb cake that I totally enjoy. I used a ring cake tin and it turned out perfectly. I managed to fluke the perfect amount of lemon juice and sweetener. I really like how easy it is to make and the combination of almond meal and dessicated coconut. Just watch the cooking time carefully.
Hiya how many mls of lemon juice is needed?
My first successful Keto baking!!! Even though I made some mistakes like using coconut flour instead of desiccated coconut. As it absorbed more liquid, I had to spoon it out as it was so thick rather than a batter. I filled 5 muffin cases and one small loaf tin 5" x 2 1/2". I've not cut the larger cake yet but the muffins were delicious. Not at all dry and a REAL cake texture. I used the cream cheese frosting on the muffins and did a lemon drizzle on the loaf cake which I am taking to share with a friend. Fabulous recipe which I am sure can be adapted with other flavours. Thank You.
I want to buy a ring pan from Amazon but was surprised to see so much variety. May I ask what size pan you used please? Thank you!
Hi, I made this cake yesterday for my wedding anniversary and I liked it. My question is the calories mentioned are for one slice or the whole cake? Me and hubby just had two tiny slices and now all left over is in fridge, so i was thinking should I eat more or not since I am on a low calorie diet these days. Thank you
How awesome to hear you made this for your wedding anniversary, what a lovely way to celebrate. Yes, all my nutrition panels are per serving, or in this case, per slice. So enjoy 🙂
Hi will this work with psyllium husk powder I picked up the wrong packet at store and ice already opened it ?
Just check the psyllium powder does not have any additives in it. Some psyllium powder is used as a laxative so may have flavours and sugar. The only difference is between psyllium husk and powder, is how finely ground they are.
Just made this in a muffin tin, worked great. It made 6 muffins. Guesstimated the amounts as i didn't have any measuring devices and turned out nice and moist. Didn't even add the sweetener and it tastes great with the cream cheese frosting! YUM!!
Can you make the icing without the yoghurt ??
How about my cream cheese frosting? I absolutely love that one.
could I substitute coconut oil instead of butter in this recipe and others also?
You may swap coconut oil in place of butter but you will lose that creamy buttery flavour. That's OK, simply add a little more flavouring (depending on the recipe you are making) and a pinch of salt. With all baking, taste before ranking and experiment with flavours and sweeteners for the perfect result.
I recently made this cake as a birthday cake for my husband. It was very good although he thought it was a bit dry. Is there any thing I could do to ensure it is less dry such as adding oil?
I wonder if your oven cooked it quicker than mine? Maybe next time try to reduce the cooking time, but still ensuring it is cooked throughout. Also different brands of coconut can be drier than one another. If you think the mixture is too dry, add a little extra melted butter or lemon juice. Yum 🙂
I made this and mine was also very dry
Don’t know how to line a bundt tin, do just sprayed with coconut oil, and whole cake stuck, arrrgh
Ive always used oil and paper towel. Then sprinkle a lil flour. The you roll the pan til the flour coats the entire. Lightly tap the side and the exudes flour will fall to the bottom. Then you just dump that out. Uses less than 1/4c
I'm thinking about making this for Christmas Day. Just wondering how long it lasts for (could I make it Christmas Eve & would it still taste just as good the next day)?
Thanks in advance 🙂
I like to make all low-carb baking as fresh;ly as possible, as there is no sugar to help preserve it and we use extra eggs compared to regular wheat baking to help them rise and give structure. I would make this recipe a day ahead, then keep somewhere cool to store until the big day. That would ensure a lovely cake and still be fresh for any leftovers. Merry Christmas.
These are absolutely scrumptious!! Made them as cupcakes, replacing the icing with lemon drizzle made with half a lemon's juice and a tsp of Truvia. Could not tell at all that these are sugar-free! Thank you!!
Laura M Sharp
Wondering if mix gently" means with a mixer, or by hand???
Hi Libby. Should I use almond meal or almond flour ?
You can use either. I personally use almond meal as it is so much cheaper here.
This cake is DEVINE! And I've made so many cakes on coconut flour, with that 'special not quite right texture'. I was looking for something that isn't all almond flour either. Perfect combination! Well done!!!
Hey thanks Michelle. 🙂 What a super review to leave.
how long do you leave the cake in the fridge to set? It didn't explain it in the instructions. Sorry I am new to baking healthy
Are you thinking of the cheesecake perhaps? This one needs to be baked.
Made this recipe into muffins and they turned out excellent. I did substitute the 1 tsp psyllium husk (not a fan) for 1/3 tsp xantham gum and they turned out perfect.
Made this cake last night to bring to work for my birthday! I was skeptical about it looking at the batter consistency, but it came out beautifully! Everyone enjoyed it and were most surprised it was "sugar free". I used your chocolate ganache as a more luxurious topping!
Hi Libby, can this be made without the psyllium husk? Wanted to try this out for Easter but no one locally seems to carry!
Yes you can, it just makes a better crumb texture and the cake holds well together. You can omit it but it may fall apart a little. Although if you are serving it with the frosting, just call it a deconstructed cake 😉
Can't wait to make this! I don't have the same pan though.... Do you think it would work in a bundt pan? Or I could try a loaf like another person did... ❤thanks!
Yea a bundt tin would work. I have made it in a regular tin, I just have found however it works brilliantly in a cake tin without a solid centre (like a ring or bundt tin). It is a heavier cake than most and has trouble baking in the centre without burning around the edges first which is why I use a ring tin (or bundt).
Does this have to be made in a ring pan or could you use a regular cake pan?
I make it in a ring pan as it is quite dense, so the ring pan ensures it cooks evenly. Any time I have had to cook it in a regular cake tin, it was difficult to get the centre cooked without the outside drying out so I cook it in two smaller cake tins so the cake mixture/batter is not so high and cooks evenly.
Ok, thank you! Trying it today and looking forward to it!
Hi Libby, could you use limes instead of lemon? I have just been given a heap and need to find something to do with them. Thanks.
Ooh yes, I like the idea of that combo. You may need to adjust the sweetener to your taste and how bitter the limes are. Enjoy 🙂
Omg..the best low carb cake by far..... thank you.
Hi, Could this be divided into cupcakes? Just reduce the cooking time? Thanks 🙂
Yes absolutely. I would cook them for about 15 minutes.
YES! Definitely. I did it this week: using my regular-sized muffin tray, it made nine cupcakes and they needed 18 mins in my oven. I had no yoghurt and not much cream cheese so experimented with the icing. I creamed either 50 or 100g of softened butter (can't remember which!) and 140g softened cream cheese together, then added juice and zest of two lemons, a handful of shredded coconut and 1/4 cup powdered Stevia.
I've made this cake a few times in different tins. Two people told me (without hearing each other) that this was the best version yet. One said they'd be impressed if they had bought the cupcake in a cafe, and the other thought I could sell them 🙂
Thank you SO much Libby for this recipe - it's so easy and so versatile - one of my go-to recipes. It always works, only uses what I normally have on hand, doesn't require any special equipment, and all my wheat-and-sugar eating friends love it too.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this wonderful review. And what lucky friends you have, that you bake for them.
I made this cake yesterday and oh my goodness.....It was truly lovely. Moist and dense and sooo yummy! I made up a different frosting as I was away from home and didn't have all of the ingredients. Whipped up some butter with Xylitol that I had made into a powder in my Thermomix then I beat in some cream cheese. Totally stunning! Thank you. Better than a normal high carb cake! ?
What a lovely review, thank you.
WOW!!! After only ever having done low carb baking using Atkins recipes, which use expensive and not so nice ingredients like protein powders instead of flour, I was resigned to the fact that low carb baking meant dry, hard brick cakes and muffins that just aren't as good as the real thing. I WAS WRONG! I can't believe how much the look, feel and texture of this cake is just like a regular cake, how moist it is and of course how nice it tastes! I love you Libby! Will definitely be hitting up many more of your baking recipes, thank you!
YAY, I love this comment. Atkins is so over-processed and has been incredibly detrimental to how low carb is perceived. I like to base all my recipes on low-carb whole foods and make them as simple as possible, my tagline is "Real Food, Real Easy". I'm so glad you like the cake, try my flourless berry sponge and my carrot cake too.
With these recipes where net carbs are not listed do we subtract the fibre from the carbohydrates to get the right count?
All my recipes show total carbs, net carbs, and fiber.
Thank you for sharing the recipe. Do you think it could be baked in the microwave, using something like Libbey Ring Pan Glass Baking Dish (available on Amazon)? Approx. how long would it take in an 1100W microwave? Thanks!
I'm thinking it would be able to be cooked in a microwave. I would estimate it would about 5 minutes, although every microwave varies considerably how they cook so check it and add a further minute until the centre is cooked. I'd love you to come back and report how it goes.
This sounds really delicious and something new to try. Thank you for sharing this.
I don't know what I'm doing wrong. It must be the ingredients. I made the cake, it turned out rock hard and dry even though I drizzled it with "sugar" syrup like one of the comments suggested. The dough didn't rise. Maybe it's the ingredients we have here in Germany? Low carb is not a popular option, ingredients like psyllium can only be ordered online. I was really looking forward to this after all the rave reviews, but it was a huge let down. And I don't even know what I did wrong. 🙁
We loved this! I am not a baker 🙂 and had no idea what I was doing so made it exactly as the recipe said. It was perfect! A beautiful lemon flavour throughout, and the cake itself was deliciously soft and moist. I found a very, very narrow slice (maybe half a serve) more than enough for me, just to get a taste of something sweet after a meal when I'm not actually hungry anymore. There are only two of us in my household so it took a few days to get through and was still delicious days later, though not quite as moist obviously. A keeper for us. Thank you so much.
I make this all the time. Also tried it as hot cross buns/muffins at Easter time. Did as suggested - replaced lemon with an extra egg, added spices & 90% dark chocolate chips - HEAVEN! ?
Stella G. Bacon
I just made this. Instead of the icing, I made a "sugar syrup" (1part xylitol, 1part water and 2 parts lemon juice) and poured it over the cake as soon as it came out of the oven. It was amazing! Thanks for the recipe!
What a superb idea Stella, like a lemon drizzle cake. Wonderful and thanks for sharing your tips.
I can't find desiccated coconut, can I just use unsweetened shredded coconut? What's the difference?
Yes, they are pretty much the same thing, different countries call them by different names. You can see all my pantry ingredients in my Amazon shop.